Think your kids are stressed? According to the American Psychological Association, you don’t know the half of it. The APA just released their Stress in America survey and for the first time ever, they included young people in the study. Not only did they discover that kids are more stressed than you might think, they also found that parents are often clueless about what their kids are worrying about.
More than 1,200 kids aged 8 to 17 were polled about issues relating to stress and, not surprisingly, 44% said that they worry about doing well in school. What is surprising, however, is that 30% of those surveyed admit to worrying about money. No, not their allowances. Kids are worried about the family finances.
In this economy, with so many parents worrying about money, it shouldn’t surprise us that our kids are picking up on it. But when asked what they thought their kids were worried about, the parents in the survey pointed to extracurricular activities. In reality, only about 10% of the kids surveyed said non-school activities were a source of stress.
Also interesting was what the survey revealed kids were not worrying about. Despite the fact that many parents assumed their children worry about family relationships, only 8% of kids agreed that their parents were a source of stress.
The upshot, says Stanley Greenspan, a clinical professor at George Washington University, is that parents need to tune in to what their kids are really feeling. Thinking that you are shielding them by not discussing financial worries is a mistake. They know what’s going on and they are worried.